Photo: Operation Migration
Meet the New 2003 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2003 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 306

Date Hatched




Date Arrived in Wisconsin


Permanent Leg Bands
G/W/G (left)
  • Read about the naming system, birth place in Maryland, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering site in Florida and leg-band codes.

Personality and History

Personality Characteristics: Good follower. Richard says he's unremarkable: always where he's supposed to be--and that's what makes him remarkable. Dan says #6 doesn't like him. "He's a tough bird who stands his ground but he's not aggressive."
First Migration South: Flew every mile!
History: Attained his adult voice in March, 2004.
Spring 2004:
Left Chassahowitzka together with the other 7 remaining chicks on April 7 at 9:10 a.m. They flew until rain stopped them, landing in Jefferson Cty., FL at 3:35 and roosted there. Took off April 8 in the group of 8 but a thunderstorm separated them. Cranes #304, 306 and 317 stayed together, but flying southward. They landed in a north Florida wetland at 4:40 p.m. Cranes #304, 306 & 317 were detected inflight in northwestern Georgia or northeastern Alabama on April 10 and in Illinois on April 16. On April 17, #304, 306 and 317 flew for almost 11 hours; well after darkness fell, they landed in southeast Minnesota, approximately 65 miles southwest of the Necedah NWR reintroduction site. The three stayed in that MN location until April 23 and were seen flying along the Mississippi River in late April. Next were reported back at Necedah May 12. (On May 13, #218 led #306 and buddy #317 in flight to an area at Mill Bluff State Park where the 2002 cranes hang out--taking the youngsters under her wing.)
Fall 2004: Left Necedah November 7 and flew to Iroquois County, IL, the same county that #302 has been occupying since Oct. 26th. Reported at Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County, TN by Nov. 10 or sooner. Departed from Hiwassee to resume migration on Dec. 12. Wintered at Lake Woodruff NWR, Florida.
Spring 2005: Began migration March 29 from Volusia County, FL. Roosted in Adams County, Wisconsin on April 3 with crane #201. By April 6 the two had moved to Juneau County, WI. They were seen in and around Necedah NWR throughout the summer. They sometimes associated with #304.

Fall 2005: Began migration with #201 on November 17. They arrived at Jasper-Pulaski SWA, northwestern Indiana, in late afternoon. He and #201 were at Hiwassee (TN) when the 2005 ultralight chicks were there at the end of November. #306 was still at Hiwassee as of Dec. 14. They arrived at Lake Woodruff NWR, Florida, on December 20--where they spent the winter of 2004-05.

Spring 2006: Began migration from Florida to Wisconsin (with #201) on March 27 or 28. No reports received during migration. He and #201 were found back on their territory in Wood County, WI on April 6.

Fall 2006: Began migration from Wisconsin's Necedah NWR on November 9 (along with #201). They roosted that night in northern Illinois. They were in Daviess County, Indiana on Nov. 24. In December they safely made it to their winter territory on a wildlife refuge in Volusia County, FL.

Spring 2007: Began migration from Volusia County, FL on Mar.7. Confirmed back in Wisconsin's Juneau County (with mate #201) during an aerial survey on March 23. On May 17 they were reported building their first nest. On July 12, the decomposed carcass was found on his territory in Juneau County, Wisconsin. He was on a dry marsh and flightless due to molt (loss and regrowth of feathers). He was killed by a predator, apparently a large mammal. Tracking data indicated that he died on or about July 6. This area of Central Wisconsin was drought-stricken. No water was present in the immediate area where the death occurred. The only standing water on the territory was near the dikes, and very little cover was available to a molting bird.

Last updated: 7/15/07

Back to "Meet the Flock 2003"

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).